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Pistons Tune Up: Tim Frazier needs to do point guard things when pressed into action

Frazier isn’t much of a shooter but he looks like he could be the best third-string point guard the Pistons have had in years

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s difficult to pin down the one thing Tim Frazier needs to work on above all else to contribute positively to the Pistons. The closest I can come to, I guess, is … hire an exorcist or a shaman or whatever is needed to rid the evil spirits that have plagued Detroit’s third-string point guard position for so many years.

Here are some names for you – John Lucas III, Steve Blake, Beno Udrih, Jameer Nelson, Dwight Buycks, Jose Calderon. Those are all the third string point guards the Pistons have employed since the Pistons decided Spencer Dinwiddie didn’t have a future in Detroit. None of those players has played a minute of NBA basketball since suiting up for the Pistons.

So good luck to you, Tim. It seems like you’re going to need it.

Now, of those point guards, Beno Udrih actually had a GOOD season. Pistons fans would take it in a heartbeat. Hell, at this point they would take soooo much less.

So, for Frazier, I’m going to go with assist percentage – 30%. Do that, play passable defense, and the Pistons will be playing with house money. Because the truth is Detroit’s third-stringers have a nasty habit of doing nothing well and also of getting pressed into more minutes than you’d wish. The latter possibility will be in play again this year with Frazier as the Pistons will be relying on Reggie Jackson and Derrick Rose, two players with extensive medical sheets and either needing to manage minutes, sit out some nights or, unfortunately, succumbing to an occasional injury. We can’t ask Frazier to cure all the ills of the position so if he could simply be a competent distributor and run the offense ably, well, that’s all I’d ever ask for.

And a 30% assist percentage is actually below his career average of 31.1%, but slightly above last season’s 27.6%. Frazier’s never going to become a shooter so being a quality passer and allowing Detroit’s reserves to find easy shots that they can actually convert would be a breath of fresh air.

Last season, Calderon combined dreadful 45% true shooting with a paltry 24.9% assist rate in a painfully high 632 minutes. If Frazier plays at his typical level of defense and offense, and is similarly pressed into action, some of those games that Detroit lost under Calderon’s stewardship will turn into wins.

For a team that is going to be clawing for a seed in the bottom third of the Eastern Conference playoff standings every win is going to count.